The announcement this afternoon that Southern Cross Forest Products Thames Timber Ltd (Thames Timber) will be sold to Profiles Woodproducts Limited has been dampened by an announced concurrent restructuring, says the union representing workers in the wood sector.
Southern Cross has been in receivership since 3 March this year and scores of workers have already lost their jobs in the Otago/Southland mills.
The union representing retail workers applauds both New Zealand supermarket chains (Progressive Enterprises’ Countdown and Foodstuffs’ New World and Pak’n’Save) for taking a strong stance against alleged slave labour in global prawn supply chains.
A snapshot of Worksafe New Zealand’s Tree Felling Project contains both good and bad news, said FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.
On the one hand it shows a dramatic drop in the number of serious harm incident notifications between 1 January and 31 May, 46 in 2014 compared with 82 in the corresponding 2013 period. The fatality rate has dropped even more dramatically, from 6 in the 2013 period to just 1 in the 2014 period.
The announcement of Postie Plus Group Limited (Administrators appointed) late Wednesday that it is closing 12 stores and making 64 staff redundant has been greeted with shock by FIRST Union, which represents Postie Plus workers.
“What has happened is highly irregular,” said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union.
The union representing forestry workers feels vindicated that its concerns have been reflecting in the Public Consultation Document released today by the Independent Forestry Safety Review.
For the last two years FIRST Union and the NZ Council of Trade Unions have highlighted the safety crisis that has been unfolding in our forestry industry. In the previous five years the forestry industry has claimed almost thirty lives and caused almost 1000 serious harm injuries.
The union representing retail workers is saddened but not surprised by today’s announcement that Postie has gone into voluntary administration.
There are 82 Postie stores nationwide, and existing employees have been told that they will remain in their current roles and will continue to work agreed hours unless otherwise advised.
“This does not come as a surprise to us,” said Maxine Gay, Retail Secretary at FIRST Union. “The last few years have been hard on the Postie Plus Group, and they have struggled to deal with serious supply chain issues.”